Privacy – Politics and Psychology (Blog Post 6)   no comments

Posted at 6:26 pm in Politics,Psychology

PRIVACY – Politics and Psychology (Blog Post 6)

This week I have been reading about the modern psychologists and the two main schools of though. I have been focusing on the cognitive revolution that occurred within psychology, from previous books that I have been reading over the weeks. The founding fathers of this epistemology are:-

  • Wilheim Wundt who is mainly associated with structuralism, which was the first main school of thought within psychology. It involves the structure of the mind built from the elements of consciousness- thus encompassing ideas and sensations.
  • Herman Ebbinghaus who purported the empirical approach of memory and the process of learning and forgetting.
  • William James (1842 -1910) and James Angell (1869-1949) who are linked with functionalism which deals with the components of consciousness – including ideas and sensations. It is concerned with the process of conscious activity and perceiving and learning. It has biological significance in that it functions are natural processes.
  • Charles Darwin (1809 -1882) – Theory of evolution and the ‘Origin of the species by means of natural selection’ (1859). This theory revolutionised biology with its concept of natural selection. Thus the consequences of an animal’s characteristics affect the animal’s ability to survive.
  • Edward Thorndike (1874 – 1949) – ‘Law of effect’: Consequences of a behaviour act back upon the organism, affecting the likelihood that the behaviour that occurred previously will take place again.

I have also continued my reading into self –presentation, which although initially considered to be a topic of secondary importance in social psychology; has had notable interest afforded to it in recent years and as such provides invaluable information to my research. It is worth noting that successful self-presentation is usually dependant on the individual conducting accurate assessment of the impact of their behaviour on others and also on others impressions of them. Furthermore self-presentation is a function of both the person and the situation. The kinds of impressions people try to convey are guided by the individual’s motives and personality as well as the immediate social setting.

Within my politics reading I have encountered different topics which apply to governments on a global scale. Hence I am continuing to read about globalization. This week I have been reading The Globalization of World Polkitics – an introduction to international relations (2nd ed.) – John Bayliss and Steve Smith. I found this textbook particularly useful as is helped me to question certain aspects of globalization rather than just accept information that I’ve been discovering. Firstly is globalization a new phenomenon / phase within world politics rather than just a continuing long – term feature of a long – established process. There are also many theories than can directly contribute to the explanation of globalization:-

  • Modernisation (Madelski, 1972; Morse 1976)
  • Economic growth (Walt Rostow, 1960)
  • Economic Interdependence (Cooper, 1968)
  • Global Village (Marshall Mcluhan, 1964)
  • World Society (John Burton, 1972)
  • World Order Models Project (1968)
  • International Society (Hedley Bull, 1977)
  • End of History (Francis Fukuyama, 1992)
  • Liberal Peace Theory (Bruce Russett, 1993; Michael Doyle, 1983)

Regarding the latter theory, this is based on the notion that liberal democracies do not fight one another. This is exampled by no cases where democracies have gone to war. Due to the fact that public accountability is so central within democratic systems, publics will not allow their governments to engage in wars with democratic nations.

I have also started reading into theories of world politics and have started with realism which is considered to be the dominant theory of international relations. It provides the strongest explanation for the state of war (determined as the general condition of life in the international system by the realists). Realists also argue that the basic structure of international politics is one of anarchy in that each of the independent sovereign states consider themselves to be their own highest authority and do not recognise a higher power above them. Therefore domestic politics is often described as a hierarchic structure in which different political actors stand in super and subordination.

Written by Lisa Sugiura on November 30th, 2010

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